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Re: NFC: Landscaping pond without fish!

mcclurg luke e wrote:
> Lose the fowl.   Especially the mallards.  They will eat small fish.
"Lose" them?  Would that be via 12-gauge or snapping turtle?

The issue of waterfowl vs. fish reminds me of something that happened
several years ago.  Some friends of my grandparents had a small pond on
their property, and they noticed that a snapping turtle was maiming and
killing the ducks.  They knew that I knew quite a bit about turtles, so
they asked me what they should do.

The obvious answer, I told them, was to remove the snapping turtle,
which was probably too big a predator for such a small pond anyway.  But
they didn't want to do that, since the turtle was a natural part of the
pond.  So I told them that they should get used to seeing ducks with
stumpy legs.

Apparently, some people still think that nature operates according to
rules of the old Walt Disney nature films.  Some people think it's cruel
to feed live fish to turtles or carnivorous fish, as if these animals
ate tofu in their natural habitat.

Getting back to the original subject, I think that mudminnows would be
able to establish themselves in just about any permanent pond or
puddle.  Even the winter freeze might not kill them.  (Of course, you
wouldn't want to introduce them if they're not native to the area.)  I
don't know anything about American flag fish, but if they can't handle
predation, crowding, and temperature extremes, I doubt that they'd
survive for long.

Andrew Dalton

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